The Players’ Tribune and Twitter are working together to launch a new live series titled “#Verified” to connect athletes and fans in real-time.
The show, expected to debut in the coming months, will air exclusively on Twitter and feature fans asking players questions live.
For athletes like Cincinnati Bengals’ star wide receiver A.J. Green, expected to be a “regular interview,” the show offers players yet another opportunity to deliver their message without going through traditional media.
“The biggest thing for being an athlete is the fans can hear our voice, not be able to hear it through the media, or just not being filtered through the media,” Green told Business Insider. “I think that’s the biggest thing. You can hear straight out of our mouth, no filter allowed.”
Green, who said he felt the idea of The Players’ Tribune was “a long time coming,” said working with more traditional media can be frustrating, at times.
“There’s always questions that bother athletes. Especially after a loss, it’s always the toughest. It’s like, ‘What do you need to do better?’ Uh, we need to score more points, that’s the biggest thing,” Green said.
Reporters “got a job to do, so I understand their questions,” he said. “The biggest thing for me is just don’t try to get us to throw our teammates under the bus. … Not putting us in a situation like that where I have to say anything bad about my teammates.”
Players’ Tribune president Jaymee Messler said in a statement, “#Verified is a fresh take on the dated format of the traditional press conference, giving fans a place to connect directly with some of their favorite players in an immediate and organic way, and getting the answers to the questions they really want.”
“#Verified” is also expected to feature Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns on the show as regular interviews.
Green said the live show will likely lead to some crazy questions from fans, though it may not compare to what he says is his craziest fan interaction to date.
“I was given an autograph to sign and this old lady was just trying to kiss on my face. That was the weirdest thing,” he said.
Green said he’ll be ready for any questions, no matter how far out there they may be.
“I don’t know, man, it’s gonna be crazy because with fans, you never know,” Green said. “I’m gonna be prepared for anything, I’m ready to answer all of them, so we’ll see.”